By Paul I. Adujie
Monday, 08 October 2007
Corruption is worse than terrorism
A comparison of corruption devastation on Nigeria with the effects of terrorism on America will show that the impact of corruption on Nigeria, is more catastrophic and cataclysmic, across the land, whereas, terror attacks physical damage on America is localized and limited to three cities; vide New York, Pennsylvania and Washington DC.
The impact of pervasive corruption in Nigeria, its impact on daily life, its magnitude and far reaching ramifications on public infrastructure, the criminal justice system, the overwhelming permeation of corruption on how life is lived in Nigeria is glaringly obvious
Corruption hinders tourism, as when there is insecurity in the land and when unnecessary road blocks creates nightmares for road travelers.
Corruption hinders national and international trade, as when Customs official corruptly hinders the transportation of goods. Customs officers become impediments and obstacles impeding free flow of goods and services. Saw dust, sand and radioactive chemical waste have been imported into Nigeria, while Customs corruptly looks the other way
Corruption is why regulatory authorities may look the other way, as some unscrupulous persons or company, imports contaminated foods and or fake drugs, as have happened in the past in Nigeria, before the Professor Dora Akunyili era at NAFDAC
Corruption is most devastating! It has devastated all of us and it continues to ravage our economy, our development. It is alarming, that our rule law inventor Mr. Andoakaa takes the view that he should keep issuing get-out-of-jail cards to Kalu, Ibori, Dariye and others as some Nigerians continue to announce and inform us, that this is how the law is intended to, and supposed to work!
I take the view that corruption worse than terrorism. Corruption could actually make fighting any crime including terrorism difficult, or even impossible.
Mr. Andoakaa’s cavalier attitude towards the war on corruption is outlandish and astounding! Could any Nigerian imagine a situation where any lawyer in the United States Department of Justice, including the US attorney general, writing letters to defense lawyers of a terrorist being detained in England, Germany or Australia.... a letter which in it practical tenor and effect ... exonerates an Al Queida operative, an active terrorist?
Such outrage could never occur in America and it does, there would be huge public outcry against such action. If it were to happen in America, Mr. George Bush will fire such a lawyer and most Americans would ask... who such errant Department of Justice lawyer actually works for.... for America or the terrorists/Al Queida? President YarAdua has publicly stated repeatedly, that he is committed to eradicating and eliminating corruption from Nigeria and we are obliged to take him by his words of honor
But we are compelled to ask, at this point, whether AG Mr. Andoakaa really work for President YarAdua and further, whether AG Mr. Andoakaa works for Nigeria and serves Nigeria‘s best national interests? Thus far, AG Mr. Andoakaa have acted as if a friend of corrupt officials or at best, a lawyer in private practice, representing corrupt officials and against Nigeria.
Some of us are beginning to wonder, whether Nigerians invented the rule of law and democracy, and so, Nigerians are in effect, more apprised of these concepts, more than the Americans? Is it the case that Nigerians know more legal concepts and understand the ideals of democracy more than any American alive or dead? Or why is it, that the Americans are singularly focused and resolved, to tackle their national enemy, terrorism, however defined and yet, AG Mr. Andoakaa seem incapable of such resolve, in dealing with Nigeria’s national plague and international embarrassment-shame!
At the onset of America’s war on terrorism, the Americans outlined their national position in public statements, among which was that America will fight terrorism and that it expected global cooperation. In this regard, it publicly stated that any person, institutions or nations which provided protection, safe haven and succor to terrorists, would be considered enemies of the United States.
Nigerians should expect no less from AG Mr. Andoakaa and every Nigerian, especially, a so-called chief law officer of our federation! Every government official, every Nigerian and in particular, those in the justice ministry ought to take more than a passing interest in curbing corruption. In the past few months, Nigerians instead have witnessed a phenomenal unwillingness and unmitigated foot-dragging on the part of AG Mr. Andoakaa
There are now, indisputable evidences that AG Mr. Andoakaa rushed to judgment in writing a letter an exonerating to Mr. Ibori’s lawyers, the letter which was relied upon by a court in England last week, to defreeze the assets of Mr. Ibori and his cohorts.
A competent attorney general should conduct inter-departmental and inter-agency communications! It has become clear that there are chasm and schism in the President YarAdua administration. Chasms, schisms and intrigues that are getting in the way of efficient and effective government functioning. Good governance is being obstructed
It is a fact, that both the AG Mr. Andoakaa and Mr. Nuhu Ribadu of the EFCC work for Nigeria, so then, why is the AG's ego, so gigantic that he could not liaise with anyone and everyone to fight Nigeria's cause?
A competent AG would have sought adequate time from the British courts and other British agencies, to enable the AG garner sufficient information from the Nigeria Police, the ICPC, SSS, Nigeria Customs Service and NDLEA and of course, the EFCC
Why was AG Mr. Andoakaa in a hurry to exonerate Mr. Ibori as the AG did in Kalu's case? the AG continues to thwart and subvert Nigeria's loot recovery efforts!
Some of us take the view that the war on corruption is a national emergency in Nigeria and the war on corruption is and should be Nigeria’s job number one. This so, because corruption is the root of detentions without trials as police use this outrageous tools to extort money from poor innocent Nigerian citizens.
Corruption is responsible for the failure of the power failure in Nigeria. Corruption is the reason why electricity generation and transmission remains abject, despite the tons of money that have been poured into that sector for so long.
Corruption is the reason Lagos-Benin road is impassable, despite public resources that have been wasted on it repeatedly. Corruption is the reason why the road from Onitsha to Port Harcourt is impassable and ditto for all the impassable roads in Nigeria
And yes, corruption is the reason why, Nigerian hospitals lack necessary medical equipment and medicines, despite budgets and earmarks for these purposes. Corruption is the reason why, Nigerian educational institutions no longer get respect, which was formerly accorded them in time past. As our institutions now lack money and equipment for research.
Corruption has led to extreme decadence in physical structures and our society’s moral fibers.
Nigeria is endowed with abundant human and material resources. But looting, pillaging and plundering of Nigeria’s public wealth, our collective patrimony is the bane of Nigerians and Nigeria. There is enough resources to eliminate blackout or power failure, Nigeria has enough resources to eliminate unemployment and Nigeria has enough resources, so much so, that there is no need for Nigerians to besieged foreign embassies daily, seeking visas desperately , to get of o Nigeria and to live anywhere but Nigeria
Indeed, for any challenge that Nigeria has ever faced and presently face, corruption gets in the way of solutions to such challenges. So, next time you think of any Nigerian challenges? Think of corruption as the dragon, the python and the hydra headed snake that gets in the way of solutions, which are within Nigeria’s reach. Corruption is the singular evil that continues to stunt, stifle and retard Nigeria drive for development, advancement and greatness.
Nigeria’s current attorney general, Mr. Andoakaa is blissfully oblivious of the gargantuan effect that corruption has on Nigeria and perhaps, what is worse than that, is that the AG is willfully conniving, colluding and abetting the escape of corrupt public officials and ex-officials. Corruption is Nigeria’s public enemy number one. Mr. Andoakaa is enabling corrupt persons to escape legal consequences for their illegal acts. As a corollary to America’s war on terrorism, anyone who provide succor to those who are corrupt and allow corruption to fester in Nigeria, is Nigeria’s public enemy number one!
No Tears for Looters!